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Amtrak Bedroom: What you need to know

An Amtrak Bedroom is a great way to watch the scenery roll by as you travel to your destination while you stretch out. Bedrooms are the largest of Amtrak’s private rooms, and they provide more creature comforts than rooms on the train.

Amtrak bedrooms are spacious for one, comfortable for two, with the possibility of three passengers.

This article covers bedroom basics, trip planning, and what you need to know about boarding the train and arriving at your destination. Plus, 360-degree interactive photos and a few ideas and tips to better your trip.

Grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and discover what an Amtrak bedroom has to offer you.

What is a Amtrak Sleeper Car?

Sleeping cars offer you a place to sit by day and sleep horizontally at night. Amtrak sleeper cars are similar to RVs because they efficiently put a lot of stuff into a small space.

Amtrak has two types of sleeping cars, and the following two sections talk more about this. Superliners are bi-level and Viewliner and single level with a similar bedroom layout. Since they are identical, I combined both bedrooms’ styles into one article.

Types of Amtrak Sleeper Cars

Alpine Texas
Amtrak Superliner Sleeper car on the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited stopped in Alpine. Texas.

Amtrak’s Superliner (bi-level)

Superliner sleeper cars are bi-level, and they offer more bedrooms than their Eastcoast Viewliner counterparts. Superliners sleeper cars contain five bedrooms, fourteen roomettes, a family “bedroom,” and an accessible room.

There are a few exceptions to this layout, such as transdorm or bedroom cars on the Auto Train.

Trains with Superliner Equipment:

Auto TrainCalifornia Zephyr
Capitol LimitedCity of New Orleans
Coast StarlightEmpire Builder
Southwest CheifSunset Limited

Viewliner (single-level)

Viewliner Sleeper
A Viewliner Sleeper on the Lakeshore Limited at New York Penn Station.

Viewliner sleeper cars appear on the Eastcoast routes because of their size. These cars fit the tunnels that lead to New York Penn Station, and the Superliners do not.

Viewliner sleeper cars have two bedrooms, an accessible room, and fourteen roomettes.

Viewliners offer more storage than the Superliner counterparts, and that is the most notable difference.

Trains with Viewliner Equipment:

CardinalLakeshore Limited
CrescentSilver Star and Silver Meteor

Amtrak Bedroom Size And What’s Inside

Amtrak bedrooms measure around 6.5′ by 7.5.’ These rooms have two large pitcher windows, and the Viewliners have additional upper windows for more light and views. The door to the bedroom also has a window for a more open feel. All windows have curtains to block light and for privacy.

There is a sink, trash can, medicine cabinet, towels, storage space inside the bedroom, and a combined toilet and shower room.

Amtrak Bedroom Bathroom
A view of the combined shower and bathroom used in Amtrak bedroom accommodations

The bathroom in an Amtrak bedroom is not large, but it accommodates the shower and toilet efficiently, with little room to spare. Yes, they are both in the same small space.

Superliners and new Viewliner sleeper cars offer public restrooms if your in-room facilities are busy.

The bedrooms’ main area features a sofa and a chair, and between the two is a fold-out table. The sofa becomes the lower berth at night, and the upper berth folds down for your companion. The lower berth size is between a full and twin bed. Two people could sleep on the lower bunk, but you will need to cuddle.

A ladder helps passengers access the upper berth. There is a small closet for storage and hanging up clothing, and there are a few hangers.

Bedrooms have room and reading lights for the day, and there is a nightlight. Plus, there is at least one outlet in the room for charging your devices.

I am about 6’2″ and just fit length-wise in the upper bunk. The upper bed is slightly shorter than a lower roomette bed, but the width gives you a little extra room. There is just enough room on the upper bunk to move around, but you cannot sit up while in the upper bunk.

Packing Note

Superliner Storage
If you have too much luggage for your room, you can store your extra luggage here.

When traveling, especially by train, it helps to pack light. Although bedrooms offer more space, luggage will quickly fill up the room you do have. Be aware that checked bag service is not available between all stops.

The moral of this story is, the less you bring, the less you have to worry about, and the more room you’ll have.

If you are in a Superliner sleeping car, you may store extra baggage in the unsecured storage racks on the lower level. Viewliners bedrooms have additional storage space above the door and bathroom.

Amtrak allows each passenger to carry on two 28″ suitcases, under 50 pounds, and two personal items. For more information on Amtrak’s generous baggage policies, click here.

What Does The Amtrak Bedroom Look Like Inside?

People ask me what the bedrooms look like, and since my iPhone doesn’t have a tremendous wide-angle lens to capture that perfect view, these are the best pics I have.

Below my photos is a button for a 360 interactive view of these rooms.

Daytime

Superliner Bedroom
The inside of an Amtrak Superliner Bedroom

Nighttime

Amtrak Bedroom at night
An Amtrak Superliner Bedroom made up for bedtime.
Move your mobile device around to see the different angle or use the mouse.

What Else An Amtrak Bedrooms Offer

Food

Like other rooms on the train, your reservations include your meals.

Trains running West of the Mississippi and the Auto Train offer traditional dining. The Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio will still have flex dining.

Trains running East of the Mississippi offer flex meals, complimentary beverages, and a sleeper-lounge car for meals and relaxing.

In the morning, Amtrak offers coffee and juice. Amtrak supplies bar soap, washcloths, and fresh hand and bath towels for showering.

At Station Services

Several major stations have lounges you can use while waiting for your first train, have a layover, or waiting for other transportation.

Many staff stations either offer red cap service or they can assist you to the train. Assistance could be helping you walk to the train or using a cart, depending on the station and the available equipment to assist you.

Superliner Sign
Superliner Room Sign

Where Are Amtrak Bedrooms Located?

Viewliner (Eastcoast Single level cars)

Viewliner bedrooms are near the boarding door vestibule. If you board the sleeper from that end of the car, walk past the accessible room, and you will find both bedrooms. You know you went too far if you see the roomette hallway.

If you board from the other end of the car, walk through the roomette corridor till you hit a bend in the road, and the bedrooms will be right there.

Amtrak Viewliner Sleeper
A look at the Amtrak Viewliner Sleeper Car layout

Superliner Sleeper (Bi-Level)

Superliner bedrooms are on the upper level of the car.

Superliner Sleeper
The layout of a Superliner Sleeper Car

Deluxe Sleeper

Deluxe Sleepers are found exclusively on the Auto Train.

Amtrak deluxe sleeper
Amtrak Deluxe Sleepers.

Getting Around The Train

Trains are pretty easy to get around. Sleeper cars are next to the dining car for most trains, and the cafe or sightseer lounge is next in line. The exception to this rule is the Texas Eagle between San Antonio and LA, the 27/28 section on the Empire Builder, those sleeper(s) are at the end of the train, and the Boston sections of the Lake Shore Limited.

Getting around a Superliner Train is easy if you remember two things. To go between cars, you need to be on the upper level, and if you want to get on or off the train, you need to be on the lower level. Superliners have one restroom on the upper level and a few downstairs near the shower.

Viewliners, everything is on one level. The shower is just past the coffee area; at this point, every accommodation has a toilet in the room, so there is no public bathroom in those cars.

The new Viewliner cars, with burgundy interior, have a few changes. The coffee station is next to room number one, and the bathroom is on the end of the car’s opposite of the bedroom size.

Special Request For Booking An Amtrak Bedroom

Two bedrooms in each car can turn into a suit, similar to hotel rooms with interior doors between the two rooms. If needed, you can book three people in a bedroom, but two people need to share the lower bed, which will be cozy. If you want to reserve either of these, call up Amtrak at 1-800-USA-Rail.

Booking Your Amtrak Bedroom

Buying Amtrak Ticket
A passenger is buying a ticket from a staffed station. Photo courtesy of Amtrak

Different Ways To Book

Amtrak offers a few ways to book reservations depending on your needs, in-person at staffed stations, phone (1-800-USA-Rail), and electronically via the Amtrak website or app.

The best way to book is whatever is most comfortable for you. For me, using the website or app is convenient. But I will call to make changes or for special requests like rooms near each other.

Usually, you can modify a trip if there is space available on those trains. If you make changes, there could be fees, and if there is a price difference, you will either get a refund or pay the difference.

You do have 24 to cancel a trip without any penalty.

All people sharing a room need to be on the same reservation.

Amtrak accepts credit cards, debit cards, or  Amtrak gift cards. Due to Covid-19, Amtrak is not taking cash at stations at this time.

Your Ticket

If you make reservations over the phone or electronically, Amtrak will send you an eticket. These etickets can be printed out or scanned from your phone.

If you sign into the Amtrak app on a mobile device, you can store and display your tickets. Be advised that the app needs Wifi or data to work. Taking screenshots is another electronic way to gain quick access to your etickets.

If you make reservations at a station, you will receive a paper ticket, but you can ask the agent if they can email them as well. These tickets may or may not be available on your mobile device.

Sleeper car Number
Amtrak’s four-digit code indicates this car in train 30, The Capitol Limited, and sleeper number 01.

Some stations have a Quik-Trak machine. These machines allow you to book trips using a credit or debit card. You can scan your ticket, and it will print out a paper ticket. The printed cards are similar in size to airline boarding passes and the same ones you get if you make your reservations at a station.

Each ticket contains the train name and number, followed by the sleeper car’s number and room numbers. Bedroom “room numbers” are letters. The car number is four digits and found by the door, and the first two numbers are the route number.

Bedroom ticket
Amtrak etickets show you your train name and number, car number, and your bedroom letter.

Cost & Fees

There are two parts to your reservation when you book, the rail fare and the room cost. The rail fare is the price that everyone pays to be on the train. So if you are traveling solo, you pay to rent the room and be on the train. If there are two passengers, each person will pay to be on the train but only be charged once for the room.

Those only apply to the rail fare portion if you qualify for discounts, and deals usually do not come off the room rate.

With that said, the price on the screen is the final price for you and your travel companion and is not for each person. If you are splitting the cost, you will have to work that out on your own.

Booking Tip

I have a tip that might seem odd for this article but still putting it out there.

If you are traveling with someone else and a bedroom cost more than you want, see if you can book two roomettes instead. While the roomettes are smaller and do not have a bathroom, booking two roomettes will give each person more personal space at a lower price.

If you call up or use a staff station, they can check and see if two roomettes are available across or next to each other.

If you book this way, you can go to the other person’s roomette to hang out, or they can come to yours. This tip does avoid someone climbing on the upper bunk, although bedrooms have ladders, and roomettes have built-in steps.

If you book two roomettes because of the cost, keep an eye on bedroom cost, and if the price drops, you can switch accommodations.

Check with Amtrak’s current booking rules for fees associated with modifying reservations.

Superliner Car
An Amtrak Superliner Sleeper Car is waiting for passengers.

Boarding The Train

General

When they announce your train or before it arrives, there are a few things you should do to make the boarding process more effortless.

The first thing is to listen for announcements if you are at a staffed station.

Next, have your tickets ready and review what car you are assigned.

When it’s time to board, the conductors and onboard staff will help you get where you need to go. If you see the sleeper cars roll by you, keep an eye out for your car and walk in that direction.

The Lake Shore Limited and Empire Builder have sleeping cars on both ends of the trains, which can be tricky for new travelers. The Builder’s 27/28 sleeper is on the tail end, and the 7/8 is near the engine.

At some stations, like the North Charleston, SC, the staff will tell you where on the platform to stand so you are at the right spot when the train stops.

There are a few stations with short platforms; this means the train needs to make two stops.

One-stop is for coach passengers and the second for sleepers, not always in that order. If that is the case, wait patiently for your turn and listen to the conductor’s announcements.

No matter what station you are boarding at, boarding is easy after your first couple of trips. Often, all the sleepers are together, and all the coaches are together, separated by the cafe and dining cars.

Exceptions

Like mentioned before, the Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, and Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle do not follow this pattern because these routes separate (or come together depending on direction). It is more critical for you to pay attention to these trains.

TIcket lift
Amtrak conductors may scan your tickets before you get on the train or after you are onboard. Photo courtesy of Amtrak

Other boarding tidbits

Sometimes, the car numbers don’t get updated; ask a uniformed staff member if you get confused. For example, train 6, a sleeper, could read 0531 instead of 0631.

Sometimes, Veiwliners do not open all the doors; you may enter or leave the adjoining car.

The conductors use an iPhone-type scanner to check tickets, verifying you are on the right train, on the correct date, and in the right car and room.  Sometimes conductors scan tickets or lift tickets before getting on the train; others will wait until you are on the train and come by after they lift the coach passenger tickets. Occasionally they will consult with your car attendant and check you off later.

When Onboard

Amtrak Bedroom
An Amtrak bedroom prepared for sleeping. The upper bunk comes down for another passenger.

When you are on the train, your car attendant can help you get acquainted with the room, inform you about meals, and prepare or put away your beds when it is time.

There is a call button if you need to get ahold of them.

If they receive good service, you can tip, often $5 – $20 a day. How much you tip depends on the quality of service and your budget

Fresh Air Stops

There are select stations for you to get off the train to stretch, get fresh air, or smoke.

Do not wander too far away from the train. If you stray too far, the train can and will leave without you.

If you step off the train, listen for the train horn. Before the train leaves, the engineer will often give two quick blows as a warning to get on the train.

Do not smoke or vape on or near the train. If you do either on the train, the next stop could be your next stop, even if it’s not your destination. Along with a new final destination, you could have federal fines. I saw this happen a couple of times, and I have been in a car where someone smoked in the bathroom, and the smell filled the car quickly, so don’t.

Amtrak will not leave before the scheduled time, except for flag stops. Flag stops are where Amtrak only stops if someone is getting on or off. If there is no need to stop, they won’t.

If the train comes to a stop early, it may need to wait until its scheduled departure time, even if all the ticketed passengers climb aboard.

Arriving At Your Destination

This one is a little easier because all you need to do is get off the train.

Getting Ready

I like to note the stop before mine; you can find that on the train’s timetable. Because I know after we leave there, I should go back to my room and get my belongings ready.

For example, if I take Amtrak to visit my sister in Papillion, NE, near Omaha, NE, I note the Cresent, IA, stop. After we leave Cresent, our next stop is where I get off, Omaha. If all goes well after we leave Cresent, I know I have at least two hours or so before I arrive. Sometimes the time between stops is less.

Amtrak Train
An Amtrak conductor is helping a passenger off of the train. Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

In my example, I have almost two hours from the Cresent stop and Omaha. That is more than enough time to clean up my area, re-pack my things, and text my sister, letting her know I am close.

You may have more or less time. If you are not sure, ask your car attendant or a conductor.

The Staff Will Help You

During the day, conductors and car attendants announce the upcoming stops over the PA, but the quiet hours are from around 10 pm to 7 am.

During the day but especially during quiet hours, conductors or the car attendants will knock on your door to let you know your stop is coming up. They often come fifteen to thirty minutes before your destination.

I have had some fantastic car attendants that would wake me up around 4:30 am for 4:50 am arrival time into North Charleston, SC, Now it was not remarkable that they woke me up, but they offered me a cup of well-needed coffee.

Staff will often offer to take your luggage to the door before you arrive at your destination. Staff will direct you to the right door and help you off once the train comes to a complete stop. If you are on a Superliner, you will know what door you are leaving, but on Viewliners, they may let passengers from two sleeper cars out of the same door.

Checked Bags

If you checked your bags, listen to the instructions on where to claim checked bags. Because there are various station types across the system, there is no one protocol for check baggage.

Checked baggage is often like an airport with a baggage carousel at larger stations, but you could claim your bags off the baggage trailer at smaller stations.

Amtrak Bedroom: Packing List to make your trip more enjoyable

  • Electronics and entertainment suggestions (Be aware. typically trains do not have internet)
    • Extension cord, headphones, chargers, and cables
    • A tablet that you can download entertainment, such as an iPad or Kindle
      • Download a few Podcasts and music you enjoy (either phone or tablet.)
      • Apps such as Netflix, Disney +, and Amazon Prime allow you to download movies you can watch without the internet. Other apps allow you to watch videos that you digitally purchased.
    • A few books or magazines
  • Refreshments
    • I pack enough snacks for each direction of my journey. I put them in a small reusable bag that easily fits into my luggage.
      • This method saves space and is an excellent excuse to get out and explore your destinations or layover city. Altho many larger stations, like Chicago, have stores with snacks but with convenience store prices.
    • A refillable water bottle is a handy way to stay hydrated, save money and the environment.
    •  You can bring alcohol to consume in your room only. If you want to drink in other parts of the train, you need to purchase those adult drinks onboard. If you get out of control, Amtrak can remove you from the train, so the next stop is your stop regardless of your destination.
  • Sleeping and misc
    • Eyeshades are hand for those who are super sensitive to light at night. There are
      • The windows have drapes, but sometimes at a station stop, platform lights can be at the same height as your window so that a bit of light could leak in.
    • Earplugs for those who need it quiet, for safety, and due to FRA rules, engineers will blow the horn all night.
    • Sleep aides because sometimes people get too excited to sleep or struggle sleeping away from home.

Bedroom Etiquette

Basic manners apply, but a few things to remember.

  • Inside voices are essential because the walls are thin, so be mindful of your neighbors.
  • Keep your electronic devices at a low level, and that includes your text message and ring tones.
  • Treat your car attendant with respect. There is only one of them per sleeper car, and they try to help everyone the best they can.
    • During meal times and bedtimes sleeping car, attendants are busy, so be patient.
  • Clean up after yourself in common areas for the betterment of your fellow passengers

Amtrak Bedroom FAQ

Superliner Bedroom
The hallway for Amtrak Superliner Bedrooms

Amtrak bedrooms are the largest rooms available in Amtrak sleeper cars and are often the most expensive. With the increased cost come more space and amenities.

Superliner Trains have five bedrooms per car, and you’ll find all bedrooms on the upper floor. Viewliners have two bedrooms located on the opposite side of the roomettes. On the Auto Train, there are a few cars that have ten bedrooms.

On Superliner sleepers, bedroom A is smaller in width by 10″, and is next to the stairs. Bedrooms B and C form the bedroom suite, similar to hotels.

Suppose you want a specific bedroom or the “bedroom suite,” book at a staffed station or call 1-800-USA-Rail. If you booked online or with the app and want a different room, try contacting the above number. Room changes or picking a particular room can only are only possible if they are not reserved. You can always try at a later date in case something opens up.

When possible, Amtrak offers priority boarding to sleeper car passengers. Priority boarding is a service provided at the train’s initial station. Still, some intermediate stations send you to a location on the platform, so you are in the right spot when the train arrives.

While priority boarding is sweet, don’t worry if you miss it or the station does not offer it. Your room is reserved just for you, and if you are the first or last person on the train, you still have that room.

Amtrak Bedroom Wrap Up

Wow, that is a lot of information, and some of it will make sense once you see it on your first trip. I find researching as you are doing with this article helps you keep your expectations realistic.

The best advice I have for you is, book your tickets early, get on the train, sit back, relax, listen to the announcements, let the staff help you, be kind, and enjoy the scenery and adventure.

If I missed something and you still have questions, please let me know!

Check out these articles for more information.

Safe Travels.

Kev

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Kev

Kev has traveled over 125,000 miles on over 660 trains all around the United States aboard Amtrak. When he is not on the move, Kev enjoys making music as an organist.

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